Height of Sky

Yutang Lin

Mr. Framed lived all his life within one room
With only one window three-foot square
Therefore he knows that
Height of sky, two feet
Thickness of earth, one foot
Width of ocean, three feet
If someone says otherwise
How could that be possible, how can that be right
He is most anxious to figure it out

Miss Measuring carries a ruler with her all the time
Sixteen feet in length
Sutra says that Buddha's golden body is sixteen-foot tall
Each and every Buddha she runs into, she will measure
Those over sixteen feet must be pretentious ones
Those falls short of sixteen feet must be only Arats or Bodhisattvas
As to height of sky, thickness of earth, and width of ocean
All will not exceed sixteen feet

Always framed or measuring
A Buddhist will not attain enlightenment
But will only remain measuring or framed

Written in Chinese on December 5, 2007
Translated on December 7, 2007
El Cerrito, California

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